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Whether you want an enjoyable form of exercise in your life, or you're fulfilling the dreams of your kids, a trampoline can put the bounce back in your step.
A trampoline isn't a small purchase, however — either physically or financially — so you want to get just the right one to suit you and your family.
Otherwise, it will likely end up rusting away in a corner of your backyard, taking up space.
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Read the shopping guide below to find all you need to know about trampolines, so you can make an informed purchase. When you're ready to buy, the product matrix above features our carefully selected, top trampolines for you to compare and choose from.
Square trampolines only take up a little more room than round models of the same width, but offer more room to bounce.
Users can bounce a little higher than on a round or octagonal model, but not as high as on a rectangular trampoline, so they offer a happy medium.
Like round trampolines, octagonal models direct users into the center of the jumping mat, and don't allow them to jump too high.
They offer a little extra room to bounce compared to round types.
Octagonal trampolines are more expensive than round trampolines, and offer few advantages, so we generally suggest opting for a round, square, or rectangular model instead, depending on what you're looking for in a trampoline.
If your trampoline's frame isn't rust-resistant, a coat of anticorrosive frame paint will help it last longer out in the elements.
Rectangular trampolines have the largest amount of jumping space out of all types of trampoline.
Due to their shape, they allow users to bounce extremely high. This is quite preferable to gymnasts, because the higher you bounce, the easier it is to perform aerial moves.
Since they're larger, rectangular trampolines take up more space. They might not be suitable for smaller yards.
Rectangular trampolines tend to be more pricey than other types.
If you want to do some serious gymnastics and aerial moves on your trampoline, we recommend a rectangular model.
Round trampolines are the most common type and are easily available.
They tend to be more affordable, compared to octagonal and rectangular trampolines.
The bounce isn't as strong on round trampolines due to even distribution of springs — which is great if you're worried about your kids bouncing too high, but not so great if you have gymnastic aspirations.
The round shape directs users back toward the center of the trampoline, so there's less chance of falling off the edge, even if you don't have a safety enclosure.
Round trampolines have slightly less bouncing space than other trampolines of an equivalent size but different shapes.
Round trampolines are good all around — no pun intended — but gymnasts may find them lacking.
Most backyard trampolines measure between 8' and 16' wide. When deciding what size you want, consider how many people will be use it simultaneously and how much space you have in your yard.
While some people don't recommend more than one person jumping at any one time, we don't think it's too much of a problem, as long as you take precautions.
A larger trampoline will help avoid collisions, as each bouncer can stick to his or her own area. If two or three people want to bounce at the same time, we recommend a trampoline between 14' and 16' wide.
Remember that the size listed is measured from edge to edge, including the frame and springs, so the amount of space you actually have to bounce on will be smaller.
A safety enclosure is a net surrounding the full perimeter of the trampoline, preventing users from accidentally bouncing off the edge and injuring themselves.
Trampoline-related injuries do happen, so we recommend a safety enclosure as a precaution, especially if children will be bouncing.
Many trampolines come with a safety enclosure included, but you can also buy them separately.
Some safety enclosures fit around the outside of the frame and springs, whereas others fit inside the springs. The latter stops you bouncing onto the hard springs and hurting yourself; although if they're well-padded, this precaution is unnecessary.
All trampolines have a maximum weight limit, generally between about 180 lbs and 400 lbs. As a rule, larger trampolines have higher weight limits.
If you're heavier than average, or if multiple people want to bounce at the same time, make sure you choose a trampoline with a high enough weight limit.
Familiarize yourself with the weight limit of your chosen trampoline and be careful not to exceed it.
A high-quality frame is essential if you want a trampoline that will stand the test of time. Cheaper frames will rust, bend, or warp, whereas a top notch frame will last for years to come.
Also consider the frame height. While the height of the frame doesn't make too much difference overall, if the jumping surface is too high off the ground, users will probably need a ladder or step for mounting the trampoline, especially small children.
Galvanized steel is the best material for a trampoline frame — it's durable and resistant to rust.
Springs are what give a trampoline its bounce, so quality springs are a must. If you see a trampoline for sale with a price that looks too good to be true, it probably has low-quality springs that will rust and degrade over time.
Look for a trampoline with durable, high-quality springs that are made from a rust-resistant material.
Some newer trampolines have a "soft edge," meaning the springs and frame are beneath the jumping mat. This both increases the room you have to jump in and means you can't accidentally hurt yourself by landing on the springs instead of the jumping mat.
If your trampoline has springs, make sure it has a well-padded spring cover that complies with safety standards.
These trampoline tips will have you bouncing like a pro in no time:
It's best to place your trampoline on grass — hard ground puts stress on the frame and causes it to break over time.
If one part of your trampoline breaks or gets damaged, don't worry — replacement parts are relatively easy to find, so you won't have to buy a whole new trampoline.
It's not all about bouncing up and down. You can learn a range of fun trampolining moves, from the basic to the intensely gymnastic. YouTube is a good place to look for tutorial videos.
If you're not 100% confident assembling your new trampoline yourself, hire an expert to do it for you. It's not worth risking the safety of any users over a small assembly fee.
In a study, NASA found that trampolining is a more beneficial exercise than jogging.
A basic round trampoline starts around $200 to $300 for an 8' to 10' model, and can cost between roughly $400 and $800 for a 16' model.
Square trampolines cost a similar amount to round trampolines. However, you'll find fewer on the market, so you won't get as much choice of size and manufacturer.
Octagonal trampolines tend to cost about $600 to $900, depending on size, and don't offer much added value over round models.
Rectangular trampolines can cost as little as $300 for small 7' x 10' models, and up to $2,000 for large 10' x 17' models of professional quality.
Soft-edge trampolines without springs are the priciest variety, costing anywhere between $1,500 and $3,000. However, you do get an exceptional product for the price you pay.
Q. What should I consider when placing my trampoline?
A. Here are a few of the factors you should consider when deciding where to place a trampoline:
Do you have 24' clear above the place where you plan on placing your trampoline? That means no overhanging branches, washing lines or power lines.
Do you have 6' clearance on each side of the trampoline?
Is the area where you intend to place it level?
Q. Should my trampoline be ASTM approved?
A. The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) is the regulating body for trampoline safety. An ASTM approved trampoline has been manufactured according to the safety guidelines put in place by the ASTM. As such, we recommend opting for an ASTM approved trampoline.
Q. How do I keep my trampoline in good condition?
A. A trampoline cover is a must-have if you leave your trampoline set up during the winter, as it will protect it from rain and/or snow. Apart from protection from the elements, trampolines are fairly low maintenance — just adhere to the weight limit, and occasionally check for damaged springs or other parts that may need replacing to ensure user safety.
At BestReviews, we purchase every product we review with our own funds. We never accept anything from product manufacturers. Our goal is to be 100% objective in our analysis, and we do not want to run the risk of being swayed by products provided at no cost.